GOOD party launches ‘breaking the silence’ campaign against GBV

GOOD party launches ‘breaking the silence’ campaign against GBV
GOOD party launches ‘breaking the silence’ campaign against GBV

Africa-Press – South-Africa. GOOD leader Patricia de Lille on Tuesday called on victims of abuse and those who know of someone being abused not to “shut up, but speak up”.

“If you know a family member who is abusive, don’t shut up, speak up. Even if you see your friend’s mother or sister being abused, don’t shut up, speak up,” De Lille said.

She made the statement in a prepared speech for the party’s launch of its “breaking the silence” campaign against gender-based violence and femicide as part of the commemoration of Woman’s Day in Langa.

De Lille said people should no longer keep quiet “to protect” the family name or because it was uncomfortable to speak out.

“Those who keep quiet will have the blood of victims on their hands if something happens.”

She also said women needed to speak up and claim their rights otherwise the rights would simply be “writing on paper”.

“If you stand up and speak up for yourself, you will not only empower yourself, but you can then start helping to empower those around you.”

De Lille said men in communities also needed to speak out if the abuse was to be stopped.

“Not just the male leaders who need to be at the forefront of this fight, but every single man and boy can play a role; you can make a difference by not shutting up!

“I need to highlight that this means also speaking out when you hear abusive comments or disrespectful jokes, when you receive inappropriate pictures or when you find yourself part of cat-calling ‘among the boys’ on the street.”

However, De Lille said there was a whole range of issues that needed to be addressed if the violence was to be eradicated.

This included stronger enforcement of laws, increased investment and commitment towards dealing with problems such as DNA backlogs in court cases, the training of law enforcement officers, addressing inequalities and sexism in communities, and ensuring enough support and safe spaces for victims of abuse.

De Lille said elected leaders should lead and must be the first ones to respond to cries and give women a safe place to go where they can escape abuse and save their lives.

“We must remember that many women are mothers and often they have to flee an abusive relationship with their children to ensure that they can protect their children from the abuser.”

De Lille also urged those who were suffering to walk away from abusive relationships, empower themselves, stop feeling ashamed or scared and go to a place where they can get help before it was too late.

“Not feeling safe in your own space is not normal. Please, let us not shut up, but speak up.”

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